Seven Lower Mainland officers each received an Award of Excellence for their dedication to distracted driving enforcement from the BC RCMP Traffic Services on Jan. 24. (Photo: BC RCMP Traffic Services)

Surrey awards ceremony recognizes officers ‘dedication to distracted driving enforcement’

Seven Lower Mainland officers receive Award of Excellence

Seven Lower Mainland police officers each received Awards of Excellence during a ceremony that recognizes the “dedication to distracted driving enforcement.”

BC RCMP Traffic Services Officer in Charge Superintendent Davis Wendell and ICBC road safety co-ordinator Karen Klein hosted the ceremony at the RCMP headquarters in Surrey on Jan. 24. The event recognized several police officers work with distracted driving enforcement in 2017.

“I congratulate each of you for your commitment to road safety in B.C. Although hard to measure, I am confident your efforts have made a difference toward reducing fatalities and serious injury crashes on our roadways,” said Wendell in the press release.

During the ceremony, seven Lower Mainland officers were presented with an Award of Excellence “to recognize their commitment to reducing fatal and serious injury crashes caused by distracted driving and helping to make our roadways safer.”

The officers who received the awards are: Sergeant Fred Ullrich (Vancouver Police Department), Constable Brock Harrington (Lower Mainland District Integrated Road Safety Unit (LMD IRSU)/West Vancouver Police Department), Constable Robert Johnston (LMD IRSU/RCMP), Constable Paul Ballantyne (VPD), Constable Diane Marsh (Burnaby RCMP Municipal Traffic), Constable Ian Christie (VPD) and Constable Jeffrey Ferguson (LMD IRSU).

In 2017, according to a release from BC RCMP Traffic Services, the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee and ICBC created an award program to recognize officers “who demonstrate a strong commitment to reducing fatalities through focused enforcement on distracted drivers.”

The award program uses the following criteria:

• 100-200 tickets/warnings — bronze

• 200-300 tickets/warnings — silver

• 300-500 tickets/warnings — gold

• 500+ tickets/warnings — Award of Excellence

According to the release, 473 officers throughout the provinces participated in the awards program. Of those, 116 officers received awards, representing more than 36,000 tickets and warnings.

In the province’s four districts, the South East District received two gold awards, six silver and 10 bronze; the North District received one bronze; the Island District received two gold, two silver and seven bronze; and the Lower Mainland District received 15 gold, 18 silver and 47 bronze.

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